Better Songkran Order emphasized

PHUKET CITY: In an effort to prevent the annual surge in road accidents during the Songkran holdiday, the Superintendent of Phuket City Police Station, Pol Col Paween Pongsirin, has announced that new rules restricting water-play to special zones will be strictly enforced across the island during the April 13-15 holiday period. Col Paween said that the new rules will limit Songkran revelry to certain zones, none of which are along major roads. Under the new rules, water fights will be restricted to just three zones in Phuket, one in each district: Saphan Hin in Muang District; Nai Yang Beach in Thalang; and all of Patong Municipality in Kathu. Col Paween threatened to throw the book at people who throw water at moving vehicles, and added that throwing water with ice in it, dyed water or powder are also prohibited. Promising to prosecute violators, he cited the following sections of the Penal Code, referring to petty offenses: Section 372: “Whosoever quarrels noisily in a public way or place, or causes by any other means disturbance in a public way or place, shall be punished with a fine not exceeding 500 baht.” Section 389: “Whoever, by any means whatever, causes a hard substance to fall on any place in a manner likely to cause harm, trouble or nuisance to a person or to cause danger [to] a thing, or, by any means whatever, causes a filthy thing to dirty… a person or thing, or maliciously causes a filthy thing to be a trouble or nuisance, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding one month or fine not exceeding 1,000 baht, or both.” Section 397: Whoever, in a public place or before the public, does, by any means whatever …bully another person or cause another person to be ashamed or troubled, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding one month or fine not exceeding 1,000 baht, or both.” Citing provisions of the National Culture Act and Highway Transport Act, Col Paween said violators would also be prosecuted under the civil code. He said traffic police have been ordered to set up roadblocks from 2 pm to 10 pm and give sobriety tests to drivers. Any shops caught selling alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 will also be charged, he said. Under Section 26 of the controversial Child Protection Act of 2003, parents are now liable to be prosecuted for crimes committed by their children. “Parents who allow their children to break the law are subject to a maximum penalty of a 30,000 baht fine, three months in jail, or both,” he warned. Appealing for reason over the holiday, he said, “We have to consider if we want to [indulge in] temporary pleasure at the risk of [causing] the tragedy of injured people, road accidents and other damage.”

Phuket News
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